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Carolina Trust Bank Announces Fourth Quarter Results

LINCOLNTON, N.C., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Carolina Trust Bank (Nasdaq: CART) announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2009.  The bank reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $1,325,000, or $.55 per share.  That compares to a net loss of $679,000, and $0.39 per share, for the same period in 2008.  Contributing to the loss were expenses exceeding $1,100,000 associated with the merger of Carolina Commerce Bank of Gastonia, NC into Carolina Trust Bank.  J. Michael Cline, President and CEO, stated, "The combination with Carolina Commerce Bank allowed the bank to gain entry into the adjacent Gaston County market while at the same time allowing for cost reductions.  We believe that the merger and the efficiencies it allows will benefit the bank and its shareholders in the future."

Excluding the one-time expenses associated with the Carolina Commerce merger, the bank reported a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $225,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2009.

For the year ended December 31, 2009, the bank reported a loss attributable to common shareholders of $2,508,000, or $1.30 per share compared to a loss of $572,000, or $0.33 per share for the year ended December 31, 2008.  In addition to the merger related expenses, the bank increased its provision for loan losses during the year by $1,888,000.  Cline continued, "We continue to see weakness in the real estate market and the economy generally.  Because of that we considered it prudent to elevate our provision for loan losses against our loan portfolio.  The bank remains strong and is experiencing an increase in its net interest income.  Net interest income rose 24% in 2009 to $5,905,000 as compared to $4,779,000 in 2008.

As of December 31, 2009 the bank had total assets of $269,134,000 compared to $160,427,000 at December 31, 2008.  Total deposits increased 79% during the year to $225,853,000, and total loans increased 51% during the period to $219,543,000.

Carolina Trust Bank is a full service state chartered bank headquartered in Lincolnton, N.C. operating out of six full service branches in Lincoln, Catawba and Gaston Counties and a loan production office in Rutherford County.  Its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol CART.

    Carolina Trust Bank                                        
                                      (Dollars in thousands)        
                                             December 31      
                                          2009         2008
                                          ----         ----
    Balance Sheet Data:                                    
    Total Assets                       269,134      160,427
    Total Deposits                     225,853      126,345
    Total Loans                        219,543      144,920
    Reserve for Loan Loss                3,213        2,448
    Total Shareholders Equity           22,139       16,181
                            (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)  
                             For the three months ended    Year to Date  
                                     December 31           December 30   
                                   2009       2008       2009       2008 
    Income and Per Share Data:                                           
    Interest Income               3,660      2,197     10,237      9,111 
    Interest Expense              1,241      1,098      4,332      4,332 
    Net Interest Income           2,419      1,099      5,905      4,779 
    Provision for Loan Loss         933        859      1,888      1,154 
    Net Interest Income                                                  
     After Provision              1,486        239      4,017      3,625 
    Other Income                    253        202        922        829 
    Other Expense                 2,995      1,548      7,201      5,438 
    Income Before Taxes          (1,256)    (1,107)    (2,262)      (984)
    Income Tax Expense                                                 
     (benefit)                        -       (428)         -       (412)
    Net Loss                     (1,256)      (679)    (2,262)      (572)
    Preferred Stock Dividend         69          -        246          - 
    Loss Attributable to                                                 
     Shareholders                (1,325)      (679)    (2,508)      (572)
    Loss Per Common Share:*                                              
    Basic                         (0.55)     (0.39)     (1.30)     (0.33)
    Diluted                       (0.55)     (0.39)     (1.30)     (0.33)
    Average Shares 
    Basic                     2,416,654  1,720,973  1,926,597  1,742,297 
    Diluted                   2,416,654  1,720,973  1,926,597  1,742,297 
    Asset Quality:                                                       
    Net Loan Charge-Offs             42         52      1,123        122 
    Net Loan Charge-Offs to                                              
     Average Loans (%)             0.02%      0.04%      0.70%      0.09%
    Performance Ratios:                                                  
    Return on Average Assets(%)   -1.96%     -1.70%     -1.18%     -0.38%
    Return on Average Equity(%)  -20.77%    -16.08%    -10.92%     -3.41%
    Net Interest Margin (%)        4.11%      2.87%      3.31%      3.35%
    Note: All 2009 information is unaudited.  

SOURCE Carolina Trust Bank

Copyright 2009 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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